Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo

MILAN — Sunnei is gearing up to make its debut in the women’s wear arena.

The Italian fashion label, established in 2016 by Simone Rizzo and Loris Messina, will unveil its first spring women’s range with a coed runway show on June 17 during the upcoming Milan Men’s Fashion Week.

“When we first launched the line we wanted to include women’s wear but we were not happy with the actual result so we decided to wait,” said Messina. “The crucial point is that we didn’t want to just make the same clothes in smaller sizes but we actually wanted to develop a full, credible women’s range. And now, finally, we are ready!”

While the new line will include specific women’s product categories, Rizzo wanted to highlight that it will be a “natural extension” of men’s wear. “This is going to be 100 percent Sunnei. It will feature the same artistic, ironic and playful attitude of the men’s range,” he said. “The decision to introduce women’s wear came so naturally — we actually cannot imagine the two collections separately. It’s like one big collection, including garments specifically designed for women.”

Rizzo also explained that the launch of women’s wear responds to a specific request of the market. “On our e-commerce, 30 percent of customers currently buying our men’s clothes are actually women,” he said.

Sunnei's T-shirt for the launch of the women's line

Sunnei’s T-shirt for the launch of the women’s line.  Courtesy Photo

The first women’s spring 2019 range will make its in-store debut with the men’s spring collection between December and November. Retail prices will span from 200 to 450 euros for tops, 280 and 500 euros for bottoms, while outerwear will range from 1,200 to 1,800 euros.

Manufactured in Italy, the collection will also include accessories, such as shoes and bags, which are actually a booming category for the brand.

“Our spring sneakers with the open back are sold out everywhere and stores are already collecting a lot of pre-orders for our fall ‘Parallelepipedo’ tote bag,” said Rizzo, highlighting that while accessories still represent a small percentage of the brand’s wholesale business, they actually account for 40 percent of Sunnei’s e-commerce sales.

Sunnei, which has quickly become a cult brand, is currently distributed in 75 multibrand stores in the world. Japan, China and South Korea are the label’s biggest markets.

According to Messina, Sunnei, which will close 2018 with revenues of 1.5 million euros, is also going to revamp its store on Milan’s Via Vela. “The ground floor will become a white big box, while we will create another space in the basement, which will be totally blue and will feature a club-like atmosphere,” he said.

Asked about the future expansion of the company, which is definitely rooted in the wave of surreal art flourishing in Milan thanks to artists such as Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari, Rizzo explained that the mission is to continue building Sunnei as a lifestyle brand.

“We are doing fashion now, but it doesn’t mean we cannot launch furniture or a music album in the future,” he said.

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